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Netherlands – Health Issues

The Netherlands has a reputation for being a healthy and active country, but there are still several health issues that affect the population. In this article, we will discuss some of the common health issues in the Netherlands and the current smoking legislation.

Common Health Issues


Obesity is a growing problem in the Netherlands, with almost half of the adult population being overweight. Approximately 14% of adults are classified as obese, which puts them at risk for several health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. The government has taken measures to combat obesity, such as implementing healthy food options in schools and encouraging physical activity through campaigns and public initiatives.

Mental Health

Mental health is also a concern in the Netherlands, with an estimated 1 in 5 people experiencing some form of mental illness in their lifetime. Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health issues, with stress and work-related pressures being contributing factors. The government has invested in mental health services and support systems to help those who need it.

Cardiovascular Disease

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Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the Netherlands. Smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels are contributing factors to cardiovascular disease. The government has implemented measures to encourage healthy lifestyle choices, such as promoting physical activity and healthy eating habits.


Cancer is a significant health issue in the Netherlands, with lung cancer being the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Breast cancer is also prevalent, particularly in women over 50. The government has invested in cancer research and treatment facilities to combat the disease.

Smoking Legislation

Smoking Rates

Smoking rates in the Netherlands have been steadily decreasing in recent years, with approximately 23% of the adult population currently smoking. However, smoking rates among youth and young adults are still a concern, with 22% of 16-24-year-olds reporting smoking regularly.

Attitudes Towards Smoking

Attitudes towards smoking in the Netherlands have shifted in recent years, with a growing emphasis on the negative health effects of smoking. Many public spaces, such as restaurants, bars, and train stations, are smoke-free. There has also been a shift in societal attitudes towards smoking, with smoking becoming less socially acceptable.

Smoking Legislation

The Netherlands has some of the strictest smoking laws in Europe. In 2020, the government introduced a smoking ban on all public transportation, including bus and tram stops, train platforms, and taxi stands. Smoking is also prohibited in all enclosed public spaces, such as bars, restaurants, and workplaces. Additionally, smoking is banned within a certain distance of schools, hospitals, and playgrounds.

Although the Netherlands has a reputation for being a healthy and active country, there are still several health issues that affect the population. Obesity, mental health, cardiovascular disease, and cancer are all significant concerns that the government is working to address. The Netherlands also has some of the strictest smoking legislation in Europe, with a growing emphasis on the negative health effects of smoking and a shift in societal attitudes towards smoking.

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